Lisa Hephner

Small Business Customer Service: The Importance of Getting It Right

Posted by in Tip of the Week


The title of this post is definitely loaded, and the double meaning is fully intended. Getting customer service “right” as part of your small business operations is critical to your success. That means the right hires, the right training, the right tools (from scripts to knowledgebase to CRM and ticketing systems), the right coaching, and most importantly the right mindset for not only your care team itself but the entire organization. It also means front line representatives that give correct, accurate information to customers that solves problems rather than exacerbating them.

Getting both right is not easy, but it can pay enormous dividends in terms of satisfied loyal customers who not only provide a consistent revenue stream via repeat purchases, but also turn into your brand promoters.

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Lisa Hephner

Small Business Tips in 5 Senses

Posted by in Tip of the Week


As a small business owner on the top of your game you need to take advantage wherever you can—and that includes putting your senses to work for you (as well as using your common sense) to gain a competitive advantage. The following sense-based tips will help you hone your game by perfecting the art of eye contact, improving your listening skills, employing touch strategically (and appropriately), currying customer favor with brand building treats, and keeping your company secure by fine-tuning your phishy smell detector.

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Lisa Hephner

Small Business: Red, White & Blue

Posted by in Tip of the Week


Today is July 4th; Independence Day for the USA. In honor of the holiday—a time spent flag waving, parade marching, BBQ eating, fireworks watching, and just plain celebrating what we love about our country—this week’s Tip waves the flag for small business and helps you stay out of the RED, master the art of turning blank slate WHITEspace into killer content, and conquer the BLUEs that occasionally threaten entrepreneurial spirit.

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Adrienne Smith

Are Your Customers Really Happy? Here Are 4 Simple Ways To Measure Customer Happiness

Posted by in Customer Experience

customer happiness

It finally happened: you’ve brought in enough customers to necessitate hiring a customer support (CS) team.

Congratulations!

Whether your team provides in-person support at your store or virtual support from your office, turning your sights on customer happiness is a crucial — and exciting — milestone in growing your business.

Unfortunately, there’s often a discrepancy between how happy companies believe their customers are, and how happy customers feel. Eighty percent of companies believe they deliver superior customer service, while only 8% of customers think those same companies deliver superior customer service.

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Lisa Hephner

Resuscitating PowerPoint for Your Small Business Presentations

Posted by in Tip of the Week


One of my very biggest pet peeves is people who read their PowerPoint slides—for me that’s right up there with screeching fingernails across a blackboard to grab attention, off-color jokes that unsettle the audience, and clipart clearly imported from a 1990’s image CD, as the most cringeworthy presentation killers. And, I’m clearly not alone—the preponderance of poor PowerPoint presenters and presentations caused the coining of its very own derogatory phrase, “Death by PowerPoint.”

But, Death by PowerPoint isn’t inevitable. Remember, a tool is only as effective as you are at wielding it. These tips will help you resuscitate PowerPoint to create compelling presentations for your small business.

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Irena Ashcraft

Side Hustle Hacks: 6 Ways to Squeeze More Time Out of Your “Spare” Time

Posted by in Small Business Shortcuts

We get it: setting up and running a side hustle can take up all of your spare time, and then some. But it doesn’t have to, especially if you follow our tips for being super-efficient with what little time you have. These are all actionable steps you can take right now to eke out a little extra time in your day—whether you’re looking to invest it back into your business or to spend it on you know, yourself!

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Lisa Hephner

360 Performance Review Templates & Instructions

Posted by in Small Business Shortcuts

When you first started your business, you probably had only a few trusted team members, and the feedback process was immediate, ongoing and informal. However, as your company grew (or grows) a formal review process became necessary—or depending on your viewpoint, a necessary evil.

Whether you chose to do formal reviews on anniversaries (likely making them a monthly chore), or at the end of each calendar or fiscal year (to get them all out of the way at once), there are things you can do to make them more valuable to both yourself and your employees, as well as things you can do to ensure they don’t create more problems than they solve.

The following resources provide a 360 degree peek into the performance appraisal process—covering viewpoints from the employer, the employee, and the humorist. If after digesting those you still need help with creating your review process, links to sources for performance review templates are provided at the end.

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